Not really. Kind of. It was sandy, this is near the dunes. These guys roam at this particular nature preserve. Eh…kind of.
I will never pass up buffalo (yes, for those that are new, I know they are actually bison. I grew up knowing them as buffalo and I like that better.) Anyway, I will never pass up these beauties, but once you’ve been to somewhere like The Badlands, Custer State Park, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, or somewhere like that….seeing guys like this is not really the same.
These guys were back behind a fence. They’re dangerous and unpredictable, so yeah. They have lots of acreage to roam on, but would I say that they “roam” the preserve? Not really. It is better than the last park I went to, though. The last one, they had a much smaller area to roam around in. This is a healthier environment in my opinion.
That is not putting it down. It is nice to be able to drive and hour to see these beautiful beast, but I like the hiking the mountains and hills to stumble across one or two (often more). Watching them in their element as they watch me to ensure that I do not get to close. I also like the curious ones that do not fear me and chase me around my car trying to figure me out. Not in a dangerous way, he was curious but there were other people around so I had to “behave” and not be one of those people. Of course, in theory, I probably shouldn’t have been out of my car in the first place. Do not do what I do.
I know that they are dangerous. I never press my luck. I watch them, I listen to them, and I respect them. I am always a good fancy RV and half away, at least. I know my limits and I know that no matter how fast, how far away I am….if I’ve crossed their comfort zone, they’re going to let me know it and I’m going down.
I wish more people would listen, observe, and be cautious. A 72 year old woman got gored the other day by pushing a beauty’s boundaries. She approached him numerous times to get a good picture….that is one time too many. If he was already warning her, the first time was too close. From my understanding, she got way closer than I ever would have… intentionally. She also survived, as far as I know. Thankfully, so did he. This doesn’t always end well for the animals.
Anyway, Kankakee Sands is good for a quick fix. If one is going solely for the intention of seeing the bison, they could end up disappointed. Had I not decided to give it one more shot before heading home, I would not have seen them. The “viewing” area was closed, but they had come up closer to the trails. I’m not sure how close they are when the “viewing” area is open. Not even sure even what exactly the viewing “area” is. I cannot guarantee that I was walking where I should have been, but I also others and it was a trail, so I ventured.
I’m also not sure how large the herd actually is. It appeared to be only a handful, but there could have been more out in the field. They are still super cute, though, and I’ll probably go back.
I hope that you enjoy the pictures.
Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.
~SMH, Montana Rose Photography~